The Museum of Orange Heritage welcomed a new member of staff to the team at Schomberg House in the middle of September.
Carly Wallace, from Ballymena, has taken up the role as the new Digitisation Officer at the Museum of Orange Heritage.
This is a funded post and will last for three-year period.
Dr. Jonathan Mattison, Curator at the Museum of Orange Heritage was delighted to welcome Carly.
He said: “We are delighted to welcome Carly to the post of Digitisation Officer at the Museum of Orange Heritage. This new post is funded by The Covid Recovery Employment and Skills Initiative for Heritage, which is funded by the Department for Communities NI and administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
“It is part of a project that underlines our commitment as a Museum to, not only the preservation of Orange related history, but making this information available to a wide audience.
“Our collection holds manuscript and other material dating from the Seventeenth Century and we want to make such information accessible to all.”
Dr. Mattison added: “Remember to keep an eye on the MOH and GOLI social media platforms to see updates from Carly as the project progresses.”
The Museum web team recently caught up with Carly and she was happy to introduce herself and give us an idea of what she will be working on.
Carly explained: “I am originally from Ballymena, where my interest in history began to develop from an early age. I previously attended Ballymena Academy, where I completed A-Level’s in History, Biology and Classical Civilisation.
Following school, I completed a three year undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology at Newcastle University.
“As part of my course I was given the opportunity to take part in an archaeological dig along Hadrian’s Wall. My fellow course mates and I worked for several weeks on two main trenches, uncovering items of pottery, glass and metal.
“In final year, alongside the completion of my dissertation, I was chosen to carry out a placement at the Great North Museum. Whilst there I worked under one of the curators who helped me to develop skills including cataloguing, scanning, conservation and public outreach.”
Once back home in Northern Ireland, Carly decided she wanted to connect more with her own history and believes this role has provided the perfect opportunity.
Carly continued: “Numerous members of my family belonged to the Orange Institution, including my father, grandparents and great grandparents. Therefore I have grown up with a basic understanding of the institutions core beliefs.
“As part of my role as Digitisation Officer position I aim to help the museum increase the accessibility of their archives. This will allow us to share more information with the public and help facilitate their independent research.
“The new digitised material will help to build upon the pre-existing catalogue information and give users a more thorough insight into the manuscripts and artefacts held at the museum.
“We will be prioritising material on the basis of genealogical interest and educational information as well as those with preservation issues or concerns. I also aim to leave in place a set of established guidelines for the potential expansion of the digitised collections in the future.”
The work Carly will complete will undoubtedly be a great addition to the services offered by the Museum.
“Digitisation has many benefits within the museum sector as it allows us to improve the conservation of valuable materials which would otherwise be lost over time,” Carly explained.
“Digitally preserving our history is extremely important and will allow for a wider audience to connect with the Museum of Orange Heritage and all those associated to it from its beginnings.
“What drew me to the post initially was the skills that it would provide me for the future. I would like to complete my Masters degree in Museum and Heritage Studies and wanted to have some hands-on experience going into that. Therefore, I felt the museum role would be brilliant as it is not only benefiting my local community but also helping me with my future career aspirations. Knowledge of the digitisation process itself is of great valuable within the museum sector as the majority museums have already made the shift online or like ourselves are in the process.”
Carly has enjoyed her time at Schomberg House so far and is keen to build on the work she has started.
She added: “My first couple weeks on the job have been a great. All of the staff at the museum have gone out of their way to welcome me and help as I find my feet within my new role. I am looking forward to what the future brings and seeing how the digitised materials benefit the museum in the long term.”